Monday, March 10, 2008


I have done the suffering so you won't have to. I decided to buy an inexpensive Dell PC with Vista Home Premium so I could see for myself if it was truly as bad as others have said. It is. Makes a really nice email PC. Wish I could say a good net browsing PC but my NeatGear wireless NIC won't stay connected enough for me to really tell.

I like the translucent look of the desktop, the gadgets bar is rather spiffy and it seems to perform simple functions well. The highly touted 3-D page view of opened items is absolutely useless. I much prefer the ability to hover over open items minimized on the taskbar where a pop-up thumbnail appears. I do like that.

The biggest irritant is the wireless network adapter keeps going stupid. I know I have network because my wireless XP laptop ( though the least powerful machine I have is still my favorite ) is sitting right next to the Dell. I went out and downloaded the proper drivers for it. But still I'll be on the net and it just dies. If I pull the network adapter out of the USB port and reinsert then it comes back. I actually think this is a USB issue since the adapter is out of another PC and worked flawlessly.

I was able to load my Photoshop 7 on it and it works with one exception. I like to cut images out of photos using the polygonal select. This can get very tedious to make a good clean cut. Right in the middle of a long selection the screen will blink and it closes the selection. I have to start all over after a few choice utterances of the vernacular.

My Command & Conquer Generals loaded on it and withstood application of Mods. But that is the only game I had that will work.

I managed to get my old Sonic Foundry VideoFactory loaded on it but none of my video conversion tools work so it is all pointless if I can't convert an FLV to a version of AVI that VideoFactory will not recognize. Too old and tired to go harvesting Codecs that work.
The single most frustrating part for me is that I come from the old command-line school where I prefer to get down to the file-level and work. I intuitively go for Windows Explorer to do almost anything. I could survive without the test-monkey-friendly graphics interface. Vista won't let you. It tries to think for you as to where you want to store your graphics or your download. If you are out on the net to scarf images from google and you moved to another page it can't remember where you stored the last ones. You end up having to click through the path to the folder. Simply irritating.
And as a single user on the PC it frustrates me to have to tell it to run as administrator when I am set up on the FRIKKIN thing as administrator. This means I ought to hav access to every folder on the file system. I don't.
Not sure I can stand another Microsoft innovation.

My suggestion: If you want a Dell go to their site and grab one of those Vostros that you can still get XP on.
However I am not alone in my opinion:


Phelonius said...


I have a love-hate thing with Microsoft as well. I build my own PC's and so far I have been able to avoid VISTA altogether. I never ran ME either, for the same reasons. The most stable business software they ever wrote was NT, and I got to where I could do just about anything I needed in NT at that time.

XP has been pretty good, since it was taken from the NTFS format and ran a lot like NT, but it has had its own share of misfortunes (like SP 2).

I am thinking about building a newer machine now with a dual core or even a quad core processor, but I think I am going to re-load my older copy of XP on it, and maybe a dual boot function running something like UBUNTU just to be funny.

nanc said...

i was speaking to warren (longrange) about this very issue sunday evening - he stated emphatically, "STAY AWAY FROM VISTA!"

whuzagirl to do?

i want a new p.c.!

guess i could have the guru warren build one for me...

of course, i'm such a techtard that vista may make perfect sense to someone like me?

nanc said...

p.s. - phelonius - i'm sure that someone, somewhere in the space/time continuum thinks it's hot when you talk like that!



IOpian said...

You can end up with a pretty good PC for $600-700 with those Dell Vostros. I have a friend that needed XP for his real estate programs and got the Vostro laptop. He loves it.

I have found that after building mine I end spending about the same as I would have by ordering one from Dell.

I am trying to decide which PC to take down so I can use the XP off of it to put on the Vista PC. It's about to get smoked. But then I already know the nightmare I will have to go through to get it activated and finding drivers though most of the peripherals are integrated and I can just turn them off and put my own graphics card in it.

But in the end... I just would like a PC I can work 'with' and not 'on' all of the time.

Phelonius said...

I am not as sure about lap top furniture as I am about building a desktop PC. I, too, find that I come close to spending as much as I would with just buying a unit, but I find that the performance and durability of my home-made units is better. Plus, if anything goes wrong, I can pretty much get what I want off the shelf and replace parts, and adding on is a breeze.

One of the best parts is that I get to choose what OS I want or do not want (in the case of VISTA). The set-up is mine, so I have no one else to blame if I explode something as well....heh....done that a couple of times.......

Nanc, baby....I am hot ALL the time.....

nanc said...

all this tech talk is making me swoon!